Make sure to 'pitch yourself,' says CEO of GLAAD—here's how


In honor of graduation season, CNBC Make It spoke exclusively to some of the nation's top business leaders and personal finance gurus, career coaches, bestselling authors, CEOs, self-made millionaires and billionaires and Wharton's No. 1 professor. For the next few weeks, we'll be rolling out the speeches or bits of advice that they are most excited to share with the Class of 2017, using the hashtag #MakeItNewGrads.

As the month-long celebration of graduation ceremonies comes to a close in the next few days, Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of media-monitoring organization GLAAD, offers her advice for 20-somethings about to start their careers: Never be scared to make your voice heard.

That's fitting for the head of an organization whose mission is to ensure LGBTQ individuals are treated fairly by the media.

"Don't be afraid to pitch yourself," she says. "Your ideas are valid and important. Ideas are a form of currency that will propel you so put yourself out there if you are passionate about something."

"Trust me, when a young person shows initiative and drive it gets noticed," Ellis explains. "The worst that can happen is that someone would say 'No' — and that failure is a part of success."

She adds that it's important to stay focused on your beliefs and not waver. "I would also advise to hold fast to your values," says Ellis. "The current social and political climate is tense, but that means it's more important than ever to stand firm and resolute in your beliefs."

The future is in the hands of these new graduates, she explains. "Remember that you ... will inherit whatever society you help create, so make sure it's one that you can be proud of," says Ellis.

Look for more pieces of advice from leaders like Melinda Gates, Dave Ramsey and others and follow along with the series, as well as other content relating to the Class of 2017, on social media using the hashtag #MakeItNewGrads.